December 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
Butternut squash oooh what I’d do with you. Soups, stews, risottos, salads, just plain roasted… talk about versatility. This time, I mixed it up with a blend of hearty grains from Trader Joe’s, some ricotta salata cheese and onions. I started out aiming for this recipe from Smitten Kitchen but wound up with some substitutes that undoubtedly changed the results. This salad tastes just like fall with the sweet, roasted squash, salty cheese and some sauteed onions.
Ingredients (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1/4 cup grain of choice (Trader Joe’s blend includes Israeli couscous, baby garbanzo beans, red quinoa and orzo)
- 3/4 cup ricotta salata crumbled or coarsely grated
- 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped (original recipe calls for a red)
First step is roasting the squash. Preheat the oven to 375° and then get to peeling. Cut the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Below are the tools you’ll need.
Then cut the squash into about 1/2 inch pieces. Coat a baking sheet with 2 tbsp. olive oil,turn the squash to coat then season with salt and pepper to taste. Pop them in the oven for about 30-45 minutes turning occasionally. Once it’s done (soft to pierce) set aside to cool.
When the squash is in the oven, it’s time to cook your grains. Mine only needed 10 minutes to cook but the farro in Smitten Kitchen needed a half an hour. Cook your grain according to the package instructions.
When the onions are translucent, stir them into the vinaigrette.
I had this as a side with some roasted pork loin and greens but I am very much looking forward to leftovers tomorrow for lunch! This is also great when entertaining since it doesn’t need to be served piping hot.
November 29, 2012 § Leave a comment
Ever since this dinner, at Sunda in Chicago, my eyes have been opened to a world of raw brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts that are delicious without being roasted or smothered in sauce or topped with bacon. Of course all of those preparations are delicious but there is a sea of brussels sprouts salad recipes out there so I picked this one since it seemed simple and light enough plus the ingredients are things you’ll most likely have on hand.
Ingredients adapted from Shutterbean
- about 14 oz Brussels sprouts, shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano–Reggiano, finely grated
- 1 cup toasted walnuts, in pieces
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cinder vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- salt & pepper
Set the nuts aside to cool and start prepping the brussels sprouts. After rinsing, cut off the hard ends and chop thinly. If you have a mandolin that gets the job done well.
Whisk the olive oil, cider, mustard and salt and pepper together. Combine with the sprouts, walnuts and cheese mixture.
August 23, 2012 § 3 Comments
This week I inadvertently made a transitional salad. I didn’t realize the combination would have subtle hints of fall to come while still being sweet and peppery enough for August. I used store-bought diced dates so the process was a cinch, just a matter of whipping up the dressing.
Dressing from Gourmet Made Simple:1 shallot minced (unless you are a huge fan of shallots, I would maybe use 1/2) 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp vegetable stock 1 tsp honey
The sweetness of the dates and creaminess of the blue cheese balances the peppery arugala and bite from the shallots for a perfect warm-weather-turning effect.
Something about this combo is just SCREAMING for a flatbread variation…
July 11, 2012 § 2 Comments
I made promises yesterday of fried cheese and that is one food group I do not kid around about, so here you are. This salad is so versatile–use it as a base to add in whatever your palette prefers or it is simply delicious as is. I start out with just a baby spring mix and add in whatever veggies I have on hand.
Next, prepare the fried goat cheese. If you pop the log into the freezer for 15 minutes or so, it will be easier to slice. Once you have your slices of goat cheese, dust them with flour, dip them in whisked eggs and cover in breadcrumbs (I used store-bought panko and added a little dried parsley).
They’ll look something like this:
Then, toss them in a pan with heated oil on medium and flip so each side browns evenly.
Once the cheese slices (patties?) are nice and crispy and brown, set them on a paper towel while you prepare the dressing.
3 parts e.v.o.o to 1 part red wine vinegar (for two servings, I use 3:1 tbsp.) + pinch salt + pinch pepper + pinch parsley. This is really great with a squirt of lemon juice too to brighten it up.
Whisk together with a fork and once you assemble your salad and toppings, add the dressing and top with fried goat cheese.